Our first marathon run-down (pun intended)

We got on the bus around 4:45 am. It was cold and dark. I had sleep about 3 hours plus some restless, wakeful sleeping full of nightmares about missing the bus. I didn’t feel like doing ANYTHING except going back to bed. I’m smiling here because I love being with Sarah, not because I feel like running!
It was cold outside as the bus drove up the race route. But it was a whole lot colder once we got off the bus! The wind was whipping, and we were shivering within seconds.
I asked a random runner if she could take our photo at the Start Line. I had no idea, that out of 7800 runners, this was Sarah’s friend from back home!
Brrr. It always helps to hold onto each other tightly in the cold!
We sat huddled on the ground until they lit the bonfires near us. Then we went in between several fires and were much warmer.
7:05 am. 15 minutes from our start. First blurry photo as I begin my run. Dawn was emerging. It was beautiful and quiet.
7:15 am. I love the sky changing. The route is nice downhill the first three miles. I tried to keep a slow pace. That was challenging!
7:31 am. Sarah is already feeling sick and needing to stop. She didn’t say anything about it and kept on running except for the stops. She is stoic.
7:46 am. Nearly an hour in, and we are on target for our goal pace. We wanted to finish under 5 hours.
7:50 am. One hour done, and I can see the first cinder cone. Pretty cool!
7:58 am. Sarah and I got to stop at these our entire race. LOL. I was feeling great! Sarah, not so much. But she didn’t tell me until about mile 8, as I recall.
8:27 am. Heading up the mile-long hill. It wasn’t as bad as I expected. Tendermercies!
9:08 am. Flat is just fine! There are rollers and a couple of hills in this race that before the Monday before, I didn’t know about. I was so grateful to get to visit with my friend, Jenn, as we cleaned the church windows together. She gave me the complete rundown on the race route! That was so helpful to me. I also attended the “first timers” meeting at the expo the day before the race and learned more about the route. That helped me feel peaceful and ready.
9:49 am. I was totally inspired by the runners who pushed fellow race participants in wheelchairs for 26.2 miles! I loved what this man’s shirt said: “Hard ≠ Impossible.”
10:06 am. Two things I was excited about: Seeing the live brass band I was hearing, and seeing my family! I could hear them yelling for me as soon as they saw me. That sure made me feel happy!! I was already smiling as much as I could while I ran. Golden said it would make me run faster. Plus, I just like smiling. I mean, why not?
10:06 am. I sure love my family! They were the best cheerleaders ever! I also loved those who were all along the ENTIRE race route, cheering us on whether they knew us or not. Isn’t that fabulous? It sure makes a difference.
10:16 am. I took this picture to remember how deliberate I was about fueling every 30-40 minutes. I alternated these gels (which are plain) and my Honey Stinger gummies and Clif Blocks. I drank quick gulps of water and Gatorade at every aid station, as I had been advised to do. I didn’t carry water on me for this reason. I loved using up each gel because then I had less stuff crammed into my pockets! LOL.
10:23 am. I finally was able to figure out how to listen to general conference. I had not listened to music or audio books to this point because I wanted to be able to hear conference and didn’t know how my phone battery would perform live streaming for the last 2 hours of my race. It did just fine.
11;11 am. I had been running alone for the last maybe 9 miles? I was trying to get connected with Sarah so that we could run the rest of the race together. She had to make lots of stops, which slowed her pace down significantly. I was so grateful that she was still feeling well enough to run! I ran “slalom” downhill, but still my thighs were SO SORE the few days following the race!
11:53 am. We found each other around mile 18 (I think) and at this point were getting closer to town. Pretty exciting! We kept our pace slow and steady.
12:20 pm. Photo credit: Marathonfoto. I was apparently checking a text from family, I’m guessing. I loved getting encouraging texts from Lane.
12:17 pm. Mile 25! I wasn’t feeling so great. I ate some Otter Pop-type popsicles that they handed us at mile 23, and they made me feel sick to my stomach. Sarah, too. Oops! Lesson learned. I just have to say that the aid station volunteers in this race were some of the most amazing people EVER! Wow, they were so kind and helpful and hardworking at every single station! Thank you, thank you, all you volunteers!
12:19 pm. I thought this sign was pretty funny!
12:24 pm. The St. George Tabernacle. I so badly wanted to pick up my pace, but after the popsicles, I didn’t dare. I didn’t want to be sick at the finish line.
Photo by Marathonfoto. Not sure when. But so fun to have pics of us running together!
Marathonfoto. Getting to the very end!
Marathonfoto. We sprinted to the end the last maybe 100 yards? I wanted to do it sooner but felt too sick. Next time! (Will there be a next time? I haven’t decided yet.)
Coming into the finish! Lots longer than we planned, but we didn’t plan on Sarah being sick. She was an absolute champ! Not a single complaint. Just ran the whole marathon regardless.
Finished! At exactly the same time! That was my favorite part: finishing together. Sarah is the best racing companion. If any of our other children want to run a marathon together, I will hopefully be able to do that for them. That was the best part of this whole experience for me.
And this!
I was so touched that my children wanted to give me a hug even when I was all sweaty and stinky! That’s love in my book!
I could not have completed this goal without his marathon of loving support.
All the celebratory photos.
This pose was because I nearly toppled the number 6–it was made out of something like styrofoam, so when I went to catch my balance on it, it started to rock to the side! We got a good laugh, and I did the muscle pose pretending to be super strong….
Such a fun day! Such a supportive crew!
The medals are made from the sandstone that St. George is famous for. Some of my pioneer ancestors who helped build the St. George temple knew about sandstone, I’m guessing. They did much harder things than running marathons.
When I got back to our home, I checked it off my bucketlist.
What a dream come true!
This picture is representative of all the people who helped me accomplish my goal. Family, friends (this is a friend from our old ward, whose parents first really inspired me to run. This son, Golden, who grew up with some of our older children, is a phenomenal runner, and started his own shoe business–Altra), and even strangers that I met along the trail who are out with their children or who are senior citizens keeping up their health. You all inspire me. Thank you!

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